Last May 25, actress Yasmien Kurdi filed charges of lasciviousness and unjust vexation against Baron Geisler, her co-star in the upcoming TV drama Suspetsa, Pep.ph reports. According to PEP’s source, Baron had apparently exhibited grossly inappropriate behavior toward Yasmien while on the set of Suspetsa. “Minanyak si Yasmin,” says the non-showbiz source. “Sinilipan, hinihipuan, pagkatapos nag-baté [masturbated] sa harap niya.”
The source, who says the 28-year-old actor’s behavior was also witnessed by actress Jennylyn Mercado and Yasmien’s personal assistant, claims that Baron laid next to Yasmien and embraced her as she was resting in her tent and waited for her to ascend a spiral staircase so he could peer up her skirt. Allegedly, Baron also tried to force a kiss on Yasmien during a take, and afterwards, proceeded to masturbate in front of her. This led the 21-year-old actress and her attorney to file a complaint against Baron in Camp Crame four days later.
Baron has since repeatedly apologized to Yasmien via text and phone call, asserting that he has no recollection of any of the acts he is accused of. Since he already has an existing case of lasciviousness against him (filed in April 2008 by William Martinez and Yayo Aguila’s daughter, Patricia Martinez), Baron reportedly “begged” Yasmien to drop her case—which she did, two days later, as Pep.ph reports.
Says the actress, “Wala naman po akong plano na palakihin pa ito at gawin pa itong malaking issue… Di naman talaga ako magdedemanda. Blotter lang po yun for security ko. Pero kung may sasabihin siya o walanghiyain niya na naman ako, malamang madedemanda ko talaga siya.” Yasmien adds that while she will continue to work with Baron on their upcoming show—granted that “after ng take, tantanan na niya ako”—she will not take back the report she filed with Camp Crame regarding her co-star’s inexcusable behavior.
Have you ever found yourself in a scenario like Yasmien’s and not known what to do? Or, after hearing such disturbing news, would you simply like to be prepared in case of an emergency? Here’s a quick primer on sexual harassment and how to deal if it happens to you.
DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
According to this United Nations document, sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature.” It can be verbal (making sexual innuendos), non-verbal (making suggestive gestures) and physical (touching someone in a sexually explicit manner). Sexual harassment can refer to such mild acts as whistling, winking, cat calls, and licking one’s lips, as well as grave offenses like being forced to perform sexual acts and at worst, rape. The UN document lists the following behaviors as constituting sexual harassment (in no particular order):
• Unwanted sexual looks or gestures
• Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions
• Sexual comments
• Turning work discussions to sexual topics
• Touching an employee’s clothing, hair, or body
• Sexually suggestive signals
• Standing close to or brushing up against a person
• Hugging, kissing, patting, or stroking
• Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, pinching, or cornering
• Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person, among other things.
PHILIPPINE LAWS AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Republic Act No. 7877, or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, is the country’s standing legislation against sexual harassment.
Section 7 lists the penalties to be exacted against those who violate the Anti Sexual-Harassment Act: “Any person who violates the provisions of this Act shall, upon conviction, be penalized by imprisonment of not less than one (1) month nor more than six (6) months, or a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000) nor more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000), or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.”
You can read the complete act here, courtesy of the Chan Robles Virtual Law Library.
HOW TO DEAL WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Here are three quick tips to remember when you are faced with sexual harassment.
Let the offender know that what he/she is doing is wrong.
This Ehow.com article counsels that you should be up front with anyone who is acting inappropriately towards you. Tell them directly that their behavior is unacceptable and unwanted—and that there will be consequences if it persists.
Report the act of harassment immediately.
It is important that you alert management or whoever is in charge of the place where you were harassed. If the offender is the person in charge, this Ezinearticles.com article suggests you file a report with the police—particularly if the harassment you experienced constitutes a serious offense.
Document your experience.
Make sure you have evidence to back up your claims. This About.com article advises keeping a detailed journal about each incident of harassment, regardless of how minor, as well as compiling “any offensive letters, photographs, notes, or cards” that the harasser has given to or posted about you. You should also take photos or videos of any incident when possible (Yasmien’s assistant was reportedly able to record Baron’s masturbation scene on her cellphone camera).
(Photo courtesy of Pep.ph)